Southampton boss claims star man is staying
Southampton manager Claude Puel has claimed that star defender Virgil van Dijk will be at Southampton next season.
The centre-back’s fine defensive displays have caught the eye of Premier League giants such as Liverpool and Manchester City this season.
It was thought that Southampton would be prepared to sell him to one of those clubs this summer for a £50million fee.
The Saints captain is recuperating after surgery on the ankle damage he suffered playing against Leicester on January 22.
And speaking ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League game against Arsenal, Puel said he expected Van Dijk back at the start of next season – and wearing Southampton colours.
“It was a bad injury,” he said. “But now it’s okay. The surgery is finished, he can work normally, he can start the gym work and rehab to come back for next season….and with us.
“He is our captain. He is important for us. He is a fantastic player. We will wait until the beginning of the season to see him again on the pitch. He has a long contract and I think the directors want to keep him”.
Southampton don’t seem to be missing Van Dijk too much at the moment, having kept clean sheets in their last 4 games, including yesterday’s 0-0 vs Liverpool.
By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10